August 2021

 

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."

 

John 6:35

 

 

It is that time of year when we enter into the "Bread of Life" texts - or put another way, the "I Am" sayings of Jesus. Mike Stoughtenger started us out on July 25 by preaching on some of the earliest miracles of Jesus' ministry. It is the beginning of Jesus showing us who He is by what he does and says.

 

It is for us to remember that as well. It is what we say AND what we do that allows others to see who we really are. If we say we are "Christians" it is not enough to just say it, a bit of action is required. It is both words and actions that presents ourselves as being responsible to our faith. However.....

 

We must watch what we say and do in the name of Christianity. Angry words and actions are not our "right" - they are a choice. Faith on the other hand, is a privilege. Being a follower of Christ is a privilege. It is a gift to everyone around us - a gift that helps the hungry and thirsty, the naked and afraid, and teaches them that there is a better way to live this life, through the caring between us and others.

 

One scholar put it this way: "We are here to help our neighbor find his/her best life." As a result, we find our own lives enriched as well.

 

Many times our "rights" carried out in anger or frustration, bring nothing but self satisfaction, no matter who gets hurt or demoralized because of it. Self satisfaction at the expense of others is never who Jesus was and is.

 

So in the next few weeks, we will hear the teachings of Jesus in the "I Am" series. And I pray that we take them to heart and really work on our ways of living and thinking. As St. Paul writes: may the meditations of our hearts and the words of our mouthes strengthen us in Christ Jesus our Lord - to be the people of faith we were made to be. 

 

 

 

God's Peace to you,

Pr. Wendy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2021


"And a time for every purpose under Heaven"

Ecclesiastes 3


It's mid-way through summer and we all have so much to look forward to! After 2020-21 and Covid 19, we are on the mend as a country, a society and a church. As folks slowly come back to worship, they will see changes in technology and new lighting (at Bethany) and in the larger church, we look forward to a new Bishop being installed this fall!


We have celebrated the lives of those who passed on during the year of Covid 19 and continue to honor our loved ones who are still here with us. It's important that we do these things because there is purpose in celebrating life - both past and present.


I feel somewhat comforted by all of the changes this year. I know that sounds strange, but almost everything that happens around us brings comfort to my faith. I know that I am not the same, and most likely neither are you!  Change reminds me to be patient and wait to see God's purpose for me, for us. Retirements, new jobs, graduations, weddings - there is a purpose in all of it. All of these things remind us how important being part of the family of God is. No matter how far we go or where life takes us, the people of God will be there. It is a purpose under heaven created by the Almighty to keep us connected...even if we've never met yet!


And our purposes in each of our congregations in this time and place are to strengthen old ministries and start dreaming of new ones. We cannot forget to put together school kits, or personal health kits (just think of all of the tornados, floods and fires ours and other countries have seen!) For East , it will soon be time for "Coats for Kids"!!!


As we get back to so-called "normal" worship and church life, let us remember God's purposes are carried on through us. When things happen in this world, God's purpose for us is to become Jesus to others. And we strive to do it as well as we can!


Thank you for all you do, and thank you for helping us get back on our feet after a long haul so we can grow and continue to be part of God's purpose under heaven!


Peace to you!

Pr. Wendy



Happy Wa du Shuda!             Happy 4th of July!

 

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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